This article almost required me to read through a whole ton of gay porn.
So, even though I didn't, you better read it.
Time for me to get rid of prejudices. On that note, that's pretty much all I'm going to do. I have no intentions of selling you on said two shows. Watch them or don't, that's your choice. But don't give them any unnecessary flak.
Let's start with Horizon since I have more interesting things to say on Kuroko and we all know that ending things on a high note is better than the opposite.
The general reaction towards Horizon on the net is "EWWW.", said expression stemming from people never having watched the show BUT LOOK AT THOSE BREASTS!!!!. Now that certainly indicates a whole lot of fanservice, doesn't it? Here's the thing though and it's absolutely hilarious: Horizon barely features any fanservice. Yes, there are women with bowling balls attached to their chest but that's it. Sad bowling balls don't even keep wiggling and jiggling all day long and apart from existing, you couldn't accuse them of anything. See, in Horizon's case, you can't judge a book by its cover. It's admittedly a rare case with a medium like anime but that rule doesn't apply here.
So no, Horizon is not about female beings being stripped. If anything, Horizon has more naked men running around than naked women (meaning it's gay, right?). There's literally a dude who's always naked and the protagonist is naked for about 50% of the time. AROUND FEMALES even. Who usually don't even blush or freak out or or throw anything at him as they are used to his antics. Hard to believe, I know. Heck, at one point of time, he was literally rubbing his crotch against a holy sword, so phallic implications, there you have them. Never not have 'em. Not to mention how he had an entire audience of indifferent or minorly interested people watching him even. It's hilarious how much nudity and the likes usually gets sexualised to no ends in anime and yet that one thing that keeps getting accused of being some porn flick doesn't even have all that much sexualization.
It's fairly absurd to see people group Horizon with stuff like that tits wrestling thing airing this season. Or Queen's Blade even. To be fair, Horizon does have several girls with big breasts and as soon as you see those on the cover, there's something telling you that there's a high chance it's going to be "that" kind of anime, nothing you want to be associated with. And yet, despite all of that, you'd get people into that shit only disappointed by making them watch it. With that said, I'm not entirely sure what made people call Horizon a fanservice fest in the first place. Then again, why deal with the matter if you can just focus on tits instead and badmouth it all day long? You have you own version and that's plenty. Jumping on the Horizon hate bandwagon hasn't even spawned forth a single decent thing so far (also lol at that forced, completely idiotic circlejerking blogging carnival back when season 2 was airing with each of them watching a random episode and then being baffled by how they were unable to follow anything).
The supposed focus on fanservice is an accusation more often than not used by people who have never even watched the show in question in the first place, leading to baffling results, not all that infrequently generated by anime bloggers, people who tend to throw a fit over anything fanservice- or incest-related, vocally and hysterically fighting against windmills they themselves furiously tried to hallucinate into existence. And since I'm at pissing off people who are not familiar with some material at all yet deem themselves EXPERTS(tm) on the matter, let me just add that hey, Horizon had a whole lot more plot and whole lot less fanservice than Nisemonogatari (additionally to that, it also had better animation and better everything). Heck, you could literally say the same about Highschool DxD and Nisemonogatari (bracket content excluded). Yeah, guess what, I watched Horizon for the plot, no matter how little I understood about it. That and the characters, because contrary to popular belief, Horizon features about roughly 50 characters and not a single one of them is bad or unlikable.
To kill off common misconceptions even further, it's not even a harem anime. Heck, the entire thing is about a dude trying to restore his beloved one's emotions and season 2 mostly features a male side character saving his love. Almost all of the girls don't even take an interest in the protagonist. Perhaps that's also why they have actual personalities since 70% of their character writing isn't dedicated to "Feels herself drawn to that guy.". Shocking, I know.
Also, leads to a website dedicated to explaining Horizon. I doubt you'd need that for, say, Queen's Blade. Yeah, guess what, Horizon has a plot. Which is a fairly convulted mess but it's worth following nonetheless.
AND IF YOU'RE STILL NOT CONVINCED:
What you just saw was a lesbian with an inferiority complex get smacked. Man, that's awesome. I always wanted to smack a lesbian with an inferiority complex.
Also, think about it. Seriously, think. "Lesbian with an inferiority complex". Have you ever heard of something that could possibly evoke any more outright horrible melodrama than that? No, you haven't. And yet Horizon ended that easily with next to no melodrama at all. Just imagine what this would have been like had Okada written something along the likes of lesbians with inferiority com- oh, wait, that's Black Rock Shooter TV and we all know how that turned out.
tl;dr: HORIZON. IS. NOT. ABOUT. TITS.
Also, Horizon is far superior to your bullshit anyway because there's an onee-san fetishist. As they say, keep your best point for the end of an argumentative speech. I hope that blew you away.
Proceeding to Kuroko then! Trying to sell people on Kuroko is not as easy as one might think. First of all, it's a sports anime and wow, do people have aversions against those to the point of never having watched one in the first place with the exception of that one kids anime from back in their childhood days and that one sports anime that they liked. Feel free to make some sense out of that, you can't. With sports anime, people just go by the clich s acquired throughuh certainly not experience, I can tell you that much.
Secondly, and this is what I'm going for, you're bound to hear one of many variations of "BUT THAT KUROKO SHOW IS SO GAY". Which holds about as much truth as not. It's not even like FREE!, which clearly does go for manservice yet doesn't feature any homosexual content like those piss-poor, uninspired otome game adaptations and whatnot. As far as Kuroko is concerned, that one doesn't even feature manservice in the slightest unless you count sweating men in and boy, that applies to pretty much every other sports anime. No, I'm not even talking about sexualizing sweat.
The problem people have with Kuroko is a general one and it roots way back to the homophobia anime fans have. The more I was thinking about it, the more and more I was coming to exactly that conclusion. It's not just Kuroko, it's a general phenomenon. It's a common misconception and deeply rooted in people's believes. It's the fear of anything homosexual to the point of masses of people going paranoid. Like when people thought Gatchaman Crowds was going to be fujoshit. Or Gingitsune. Remember? That furry bara show? I'm not even kidding here, that's literally what people were expecting. And yet, I somehow wish I was kidding.
"But Zaku!", you say, "If it's not gay, then what's with the sheer masses of devoted female followers and all the gay porn? Things just don't end up!". Come on, guys, sports anime attracting a female crowd isn't really anything new: See, sports anime are all about characters, character development and character interactions and that's what fujoshi are totally gay for. Combine that with the fact that most of them feature males because, well, that's the norm and there's your reason for those things being more popular with fujoshis. There's that and the fact that male anime viewers avoid sports anime at all costs because of dumb prejudices, hence the one-sidedness of genders as far as Kuroko's fanbase is concerned which might lead to some dubious implications bereft of any truth to them. Wanna know something interesting? This season's Yowamushi Pedal is a kids show yet its pre-estimated sales are around 3000~4000. Weird, isn't it? Who would buy all that stuff? The biggest target audience, in other words kids? Surely you jest. Considering anime DVD/BD prices, your average folks wouldn't want to afford that in the first place. That's not how it's supposed to work anyway. Kids are supposed to buy toys, the manga or simply support the show by watching it, therefore improving the ratings. That's how things work. The only potential audience left are the fujoshis, people willing to spend a whole ton of money on that stuff, which is why we refer to them as hardcore fans. So, either they are airing gay porn on kids TV or a bunch of shipping-willing girls like the characters a lot. Which, I repeat, does not affect a series in any way, shape or form whatsoever and can conclusively not turn it (or you, for that matter) gay.
You think that a lot of gay porn for Kuroko indicates how gay the show actually is? Yeah, sure. By the way, wanna know what else has a lot of gay porn? Naruto. Now, you've all watched Naruto and can easily confirm that it is, in fact, not about gay sex or the likes. There are people who want to see Sasuke and Itachi fuck because that's exactly what the show will never give them. It's all about their dreams, their desires. Pornography, particularly the kind fujoshis are into, is all about POSSIBILITIES. Character interactions are said possibilities and/or create them. It's what gets them all fired up and said character interactions aren't even required to be gay. Homoerotic content isn't all that important in this case.
That entire "Shows with male characters spawning forth thousands of homosexual fanarts are bound to be gay" bullshit is idiotic anyway and people tend to apply that kind of thinking to so many things with only a small fraction of them containing actual homosexuality. Naruto aside, take Shiki, Phi Brain or heck, Titan even. Don't pretend you haven't seen gay Levi fanart yet. Everyone has. Or take other shows. Like Samurai Flamenco. Or Jojo. Or PSYCHO-PASS. Or Yu-Gi-Oh!. Or Hunter x Hunter. Then again, HxH not containing homosexuality would be a lie, so I'll take that back. Heck, we might as well ignore anime for a moment and take a glance at the Harry Potter franchise with its countless of infamous Harry x Snake fanfictions. A classic, really. Do any of these actually have content threatening your sexuality? I doubt it.
Yet anime fans in particular are so incredibly afraid of things that might not mesh well with their sexual desires. MAL's NO.6 threads were hilarious. Or top lists containing a show not solely catering to a male audiecnce. Oh, the drama that is evoked whenever there's a fujoshi thing to be found near the top or worse, at it. "THAT UTA PRI THING AT THE TOP OF A RANKING? THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS! IT'S GAY! THAT THING IS SO TOTALLY AWFU- oh, wait, brb, the new Idolmaster episode is out." is a reaction I've already read several times. And let's not forget about the outrage that FREE! has caused (that and tumblr being incredibly dumb). Folks, is being backwards and plain wrong so much fun?
It's even more absurd that some people fail to realize that the fujoshi shows aren't all that different from the "legit" ones. Take Kimi to Boku. for instance. People were already screaming "GAAAAY" left and right before that thing even began airing. And we all know that "gay" is just another synonym for "unwatchable" for a whooooooole lot of people. See, it's about a bunch of dudes being nice to each other. Sounds gay? Sure, somehow. But now just take a glance at your so-called healing anime, all about a bunch of girls being nice to each other as well. Sounds lesbian? For some reason, not really. And see, that's already you subconsciously applying double standards. And now take a look at said moe kawaii uguu~ shows' fanbases. Yurifags everywhere. Shipping the characters to no ends. As some of you may have noticed, Yuri fans are especially desperate to find any homosexual subtext with their shows. It's not just the fujoshis doing that shit. It's not just some one-sided affair. And yet, for some reason, it's okay in their case but as soon as fujoshis do the same, people claim that their stuff is all about hardcore-fucking and anal beads and whatnot. Your Kiniro Mosaic is probably not any less gay than Kimi to Boku.. Not that I would know, considering I've dropped both of them early on but eh.
Yeah, sure fujoshis don't exactly have the best image but does it even matter? Not to mention how grown man furiously shipping cartoon girls can hardly be called the apex of dignity either. The difference between yurifags and fujoshis though is that the latter group appears to be more vocal because they are in the majority and there's an entire scene since there are much more of them. Try to find a whole bunch of places dedicated to yuri. I dare you.
It's also amazing how baffled people sometimes react when being told that, well, Kuroko is actually about people playing basketball. The basketball aspect in Kuroko isn't just for show, it's not just a farce, it's not a premise that immediately gets dropped or sidelined to get to fanservice hijinks instead. It's the real deal. It's a sad thing that Kuroko of all things gets accused of not being about basketball at all despite being one of the few anime that deliver what's written on the package. Which, I can assure you, is not saying anything about naked men.
But hey, anime fans, at least you're not QUITE as bad as people avoiding everything that might possibly contain vampires because there's that infamous Twilight thing. Yeah, I'm sure Hellsing Ultimate is about gay sex. Your sole redeeming factor is that you're not completely as bad as those guys - yet.
Long story short: Sometimes I wish the world was filled with less horrible people and anime fandom certainly doesn't help.